Media Releases

Southwestern Public Health Seeks Dog Involved in Biting Incident

Local health agency seeks identity of dog in order to assess it for rabies virus.

November 20, 2019

Southwestern Public Health has been notified of a dog biting incident.

The incident happened on Tuesday November 19 at approximately 8:30 am on Woodstock’s Hickson Trail, near the soccer fields. The dog is described as a large tan coloured male dog with shaggy fur – possibly a mixed breed. The owner is described as a white male approximately mid 20s to early 30s, dark beard, who drove a dark blue full-sized pick-up truck

Read full media release.

Public Health issues annual reminder about fluoride and sodium in Oxford drinking water

Natural mineralization in the drinking water of some communities could present health considerations for some residents

November 14, 2019

Southwestern Public Health is issuing a public reminder about levels of fluoride and sodium in some of Oxford County’s municipal drinking water which may pose a concern for specific residents. Parents with children seven years of age and under should be aware of fluoride exposure to prevent dental fluorosis, while those on sodium-restricted diets should pay close attention to sodium they may be consuming from municipal water.

Read full media release.

Southwestern Public Health Hosting Family-Friendly Flu Clinics in November

The clinics are geared to children 6 months to 6 years and their siblings and caregivers

November 1, 2019

Southwestern Public Health will host free family friendly flu clinics in St. Thomas and Woodstock later this month to protect our youngest community members against the virus that primarily affects the nose, throat and lungs. The clinics are open to children 6 months to 6 years, along with their siblings and caregivers.

Read full media release.

Southwestern Public Health Reminds Pet Owners to Keep Rabies Vaccinations up to date

Wild animals in the region could pose a risk for unvaccinated pets

October 21, 2019

Southwestern Public Health reminds pet owners that it is important for their animals to be up to
date with their rabies vaccinations - in part due to the risk of exposure to rabid wild animals.

Read full media release.

Southwestern Public Health Recognizes National Breastfeeding Week October 1 – 7, 2019

The agency hopes that sharing the success stories of some breastfeeding moms will encourage other women to seek encouragement if they need it.

September 30, 2019

Breastfeeding is promoted as the natural way of feeding babies by the Canadian Pediatric Society, the World Health Organization and Health Canada – but that doesn’t mean the experience is naturally perfect for many moms.

Read full media release. 

Southwestern Public Health releases 10 reports highlighting the health of Oxford, Elgin and St. Thomas residents

The reports are intended to support of the work of municipal, health care and other partners as they do their own planning.

September 12, 2019

Today Southwestern Public Health, the agency often associated with school immunization services and restaurant inspections, released a series of reports that shine a light on another element of its work – acting as knowledge brokers to community members, organizations and municipalities.

Read full media release. 

Southwestern Public Health Seeks Dog Involved in Biting Incident

Local health agency seeks identity of dog in order to assess it for rabies virus.

September 11, 2019

Southwestern Public Health has been notified of a dog biting incident.

The incident happened on a bike trail in Tillsonburg, near Broadway and North St., on Tuesday, September 10, around 11:30 AM. The dog and its owner are both unknown.

Read full media release.

Free activities for all ages Saturday September 14 at 3 St. Thomas Parks to celebrate successful trail development

Local builders, Southwestern Public Health, and the City of St. Thomas host celebration in the park to highlight recent trail development across the City

September 11, 2019

Southwestern Public Health, in partnership with Doug Tarry Custom Homes, Hayhoe Homes and the City of St. Thomas encourages local families to join them at Pinafore Park, Waterworks Park and the St. Thomas Elevated Park this Saturday September 14, 2019 for free active, outdoor fun for the entire family.

Read the full media release. 

Southwestern Public Health Confirms Case of Hepatitis A at Local Restaurant

Immunization clinics set up for restaurant goers who may have been exposed

August 27, 2019

Southwestern Public Health advises any patrons who ate at TA Travel Centre’s restaurant at 535 Mill Street (401 Ext 230) in Woodstock, ON, between August 6, 2019 and August 22, 2019 that they may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.

Read the full media release.

Mosquitos Test Positive for West Nile virus in Aylmer

August 19, 2019

A mosquito trap in Aylmer has tested positive for West Nile virus during routine surveillance activities by Southwestern Public Health. It is the first positive mosquito pool of the season in Elgin County.

Read the full media release

Response to Burden of Chronic Diseases in Ontario Report from PHO and CCO

 

July 22, 2019

In the Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) region, nine of the ten leading causes of death are chronic diseases. The top three causes of death include ischaemic heart disease, lung cancer, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. SWPH residents also showed similar or higher rates of the risk factors for chronic diseases as discussed in the Report.

Read the full media release.

 

Two ticks test positive for Lyme Disease in region served by Southwestern Public Health

 

June 20, 2019

Earlier this month Southwestern Public Health announced that an estimated risk area for blacklegged ticks, the type of tick capable of transmitting Lyme disease, has been recognized within its service region. Today the Health Unit confirmed that two ticks have tested positive for the agent that causes Lyme disease since the end of April. Both ticks submitted were collected from Central Elgin.

Read the full media release.

 

Area Around Port Burwell in Elgin now indicated on Ontario Lyme Disease Map for 2019

June 6, 2019

Southwestern Public Health is asking residents and visitors to take precautions to protect themselves from blacklegged tick in Port Burwell and within a 20 km radius of the area. 

Read the full media release.

 

Southwestern Public Health encourages smokers to quit with My Last Cigarette Campaign launching tomorrow

May 30, 2019

To encourage smokers to quit, Southwestern Public Health has launched a month-long campaign that illuminates the realities of smoking-related illness and disease and highlights local supports to quit smoking.

Read the full media release.

 

Local Board of Health Responds to Government of Ontario’s Plans to Modernize Public Health

May 13, 2019

Members express concern about the funding model and implications on municipal budgets, and the loss of a strong rural voice in the delivery of public health services
 

At their May 8 meeting in St. Thomas, members of Southwestern Public Health’s Board of Health expressed concern with both the funding model associated with the provincial government’s plans to modernize public health and the implications the proposed changes will have on the delivery of public health in its largely rural catchment area.

Read the full media release.
 

Boil Water Advisory Rescinded

April 23, 2019

To Residents of Bayham Secondary Water System, including Port Burwell and Vienna. The Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Joyce Lock, is advising the residents that the Boil Water Advisory issued on April 19, 2019 has been rescinded. Read the full media release here.

 

Unique partnership results in healthy snack program for students at local public school

April 09, 2019

“Our snacks make us happy and healthy. If we didn’t get snack, some people would not be able to work,” C.D. Student at Oliver Stephens Public School.

It’s undisputed that proper nutrition plays an important role in supporting learning. Participation in student nutrition programs results in positive educational outcomes including elevated academic performance and improved student behavior. The challenge is not in the rationale behind student nutrition programs, but in the logistics of getting healthy, affordable food in front of hundreds of students each day. Read the news release for full details. 

 

Public Health launches new website for inspection results

March 27, 2019

Last week, Southwestern Public Health unveiled a new website which gives community members access to information about inspections and enforcement activities in Oxford, Elgin and St. Thomas. Read the news release for full details. 

 

Cannabidiol, CBD appearing in local communities 

February 19, 2019

Cannabidiol oil, or CBD, products are popping up at convenience stores in Oxford County, Elgin County, and the City of St. Thomas. Read the news release for full details.

 

Southwestern Public Health issues second cold weather alert of 2019

January 29, 2019

According to Environment Canada reports, cold arctic air will settle over Southern Ontario tonight. Overnight low temperatures between -20°C and -25°C combined with winds gusting between 50 and 70km/h will result in wind chill values in the range of -30°C to -35°C. Read the news release for full details.

 

“Knowledge is Testing” - Radon Study

January 21, 2019

Southwestern Public Health is conducting a study to determine the levels of radon in homes located within Oxford County, Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas. Read the news release for full details.

 

Southwestern Public Health issues cold weather alert for weekend of January 19 and 20 

January 18, 2019

Southwestern Public Health is issuing a cold weather alert for St. Thomas, Elgin and Oxford Counties as snow and very cold temperatures are expected this weekend. Read the news release for full details.

 

Southwestern Public Health Announces New Board of Health Members

January 14, 2019

Southwestern Public Health is pleased to announce its 2019 Board of Health appointees. Larry Martin, Warden of Oxford County and Mayor of the Township of Norwich, has been named Chair, with the Mayor of the City of St. Thomas, Joe Preston, appointed to Vice-Chair. Read the news release for full details.

 

Public Health issues an annual reminder about fluoride and sodium in Oxford County drinking water systems

December 19, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is issuing a reminder to residents about levels of fluoride and sodium in some of Oxford County’s municipal drinking water. Natural mineralization in the drinking water of some communities could present health considerations for some residents. Read the news release

Health Advisory: Fluoride
Health Advisory: Sodium

 

Public Health completes an assessment of opioid-related services in Oxford County

December 5, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is releasing findings from an assessment of opioid-related services in Oxford County. The published report “Experiences of Delivering and Accessing Opioid-Related Services in Oxford County: Working Together to Meet People’s Unique Needs” was designed to identify existing services and supports as well as gaps in programming.  Read the news release and view the Summary Document.

 

Healthy aging - Are you ready?

November 1, 2018

Maintaining your vitality as an older adult is important to preserving your quality of life. An upcoming event will bring together community partners and service providers that will offer information to aging adults on how to stay safe as they age. This free event is being held at Chartwell Oxford Gardens in Woodstock on Wednesday, November 14 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Read the news release for full details.

 

Half of all adults in the Southwestern Public Health region don’t get enough sleep

October 23, 2018

A new report published by Southwestern Public Health finds that only half of adults in Oxford, Elgin and St. Thomas are getting the sleep they need for their health.  Read the news release for full details or view the infographic. 

 

New measures to protect Ontarians from the dangers of smoking

October 22, 2018

On October 17, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA 2017) came into force. The new act replaces the existing Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Electronic Cigarettes Act with one single legislative framework. The act will regulate the sale, supply, display, promotion, and the use of tobacco, cannabis and vapour products like e-cigarettes. Read the news release for full details.

 

Cannabis and the changing landscape: Community partners come together for Q&A style discussion

October 17, 2018

Members of the public, businesses and community organizations attended a free information session in Woodstock about cannabis, legalization and the changing landscape. With non-medical cannabis now legal across Canada, many community members came to hear from experts about enforcement, treatment, harm reduction and prevention. The discussion panel included members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Woodstock Police, Oxford Drug Awareness Committee (ODAC), Addiction Services of Thames Valley, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Children’s Aid Society (CAS) and Southwestern Public Health. Read the news release for full details.

 

Outdoor family movie night sees through the smoke

September 17, 2018

Southwestern Public Health’s youth group – What The Health? – and Execulink Telecom will be screening a free family movie on Friday, September 21 at Southside Park in Woodstock. The Emoji Movie (2017) will be displayed on a giant inflatable screen at the base of Southside Park hill near the skate park.  Read the news release for full details.

 

Public Health seeking information about dog biting in Woodstock

September 7, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is investigating a dog biting incident that took place at Standard Tube Burgess park in Woodstock on September 6, 2018. Read the news release.

 

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Aylmer

September 7, 2018

A mosquito trap in Aylmer has tested positive for West Nile virus during routine surveillance activities by Southwestern Public Health. It is the first positive mosquito pool of the season in Elgin County.  Read the news release for full details.

 

One-day heat warning for Oxford and Elgin counties

September 4, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is issuing a heat warning in response to Environment Canada’s prediction for high temperatures tomorrow in southern Ontario. Maximum afternoon temperatures are expected to reach 32 °C with humidex values around 40 °C. Overnight low temperatures will likely remain near 20 °C providing little relief from the heat.  Read the news release for full details.

 

Blue-green algae found in Wildwood Reservoir

August 28, 2018

Perth District Health Unit and Southwestern Public Health are advising people that a bloom of blue-green algae has been detected in the Wildwood Reservoir at the Wildwood Conservation Area. Blue-green algae can produce toxins which may be harmful to health through direct contact or consumption.  Read the news release for full details.

 

Heat warning for Oxford and Elgin counties

August 27, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is issuing a heat warning in response to Environment Canada’s prediction for high temperatures in southern Ontario. Maximum afternoon temperatures are expected to reach 31 °C with humidex values around 40 °C. Overnight low temperatures will be in the low twenties providing little relief from the heat. Read the news release for full details

 

First human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Oxford

August 24, 2018

Southwestern Public Health has received laboratory confirmation that an adult resident in Oxford County has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first human case to test positive for West Nile virus in Oxford County in 2018.  Read the news release for full details.

 

Second mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile virus

August 7, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is alerting the public that a mosquito has tested positive for West Nile virus for the second time in as many weeks. A mosquito trap in Drumbo has tested positive for the virus during routine surveillance.  Read the news release for full details.

 

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Woodstock

July 30, 2018

A mosquito trap in Woodstock has tested positive for West Nile virus during routine surveillance activities by Southwestern Public Health. It is the first positive mosquito pool of the season in Oxford County.  Read the news release for full details.

 

How to prevent mosquito bites and West Nile virus

July 11, 2018

The warm summer weather often comes with an unwelcome guest: mosquitoes. Aside from the annoyance, mosquitoes can also transmit West Nile virus to humans through their bite. The 2017 season was the most active for West Nile since 2002.  Read the news release for full details.

 

Outdoor family movie night sees through the smoke

July 9, 2018

Southwestern Public Health’s youth group – What The Health? – and Execulink Telecom will be screening a free family movie on Friday, July 20 at Southside Park in Woodstock. The Emoji Movie (2017) will be displayed on a giant inflatable screen at the base of Southside Park hill near the skate park.  Read the news release for full details.
 

If you go for a swim, don’t let the germs in!

June 29, 2018

A swim is a great way to get exercise and keep cool during the summer, but care needs to be taken to reduce the hazards of recreational water illness. Recreational bodies of water, like swimming pools, splash pads and beaches, can become contaminated. If you are not feeling well, or have diarrhea, you could contaminate the water with germs like Cryptosporidium or E. coli. . Read the news release for full details.

 

Extended heat warning issued in advance of heat wave

June 28, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is issuing an extended heat warning for Oxford, Elgin and St. Thomas starting Saturday, June 30 and continuing through Tuesday, July 3. High temperatures this weekend are forecast to reach 32°C with humidex values soaring into the mid-40s, which can lead to heat-related illness for those spending time outdoors. Read the news release for full details.

 

Public Health seeking information about dog biting in Woodstock

June 28, 2018

Southwestern Public Health is investigating a dog biting incident that took place at William Grey Park on Leinster St. in Woodstock. The biting happened last Friday, June 22 at around 6:30 p.m. A person was bit by a medium-sized boxer-mix type of dog that is reddish-brown in colour and was being walked by a man.

Public Health is seeking information about the dog in order to prevent rabies treatment for the person who was bitten. Read more information in the news release.

 

Local tick tests positive for Lyme disease

June 6, 2018

Southwestern Public Health has confirmed a black-legged tick collected from the Port Burwell area has tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The case should serve as a reminder for residents to protect themselves from ticks when venturing outdoors. For further details, read the news release.

What the Health? launches #OxfordHike4Health photo challenge

June 4, 2018

Members of What the Health? are challenging their peers to lace up their hiking shoes and spend some time exploring nature. The #OxfordHike4Health photo challenge encourages Oxford County teens to take a picture while they are out hiking or biking on one of Oxford County’s numerous trails this spring/summer for a chance to win one of three $100 Visa Gift Cards. Read the news release for full details. 

 

New Pedometer Kits and Trails Study Coming to Elgin County

May 22, 2018

See full media release for details and information.

 

Oxford County and Elgin St. Thomas announce new health unit board, name and logo 

April 19, 2018

See full media release for details and information.

 

Vaccine Administration Mistake at Two Schools

April 12, 2018

See full media release for details and information.

 

‘Knowledge is Testing- Radon Study’ 

February 5, 2018

See full media release for details and information.

Smoke is Smoke

January 22, 2018

See full media release for details and information.

Elgin St. Thomas and Oxford County boards approve next
steps in health unit merger 

January 11, 2018

See full media release for details and information.

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